In 2006, the Green Bay Packers changed Mikes by firing Mike Sherman and hiring Mike McCarthy. The change resulted in an improved record, as McCarthy’s first season came in at 8-8. In the 2007 draft General Manager Ted Thompson looked to provide Coach McCarthy some new tools to practice his craft.
In classic Ted Thompson fashion, he was particularly active in the 2007 draft. In the seven-round draft, Thompson and the Packers came away with 11 new Packers, four defensive players and seven offensive players.
The 2007 draft is also notorious for producing Thompson’s biggest draft bust thus far. With the 16th overall selection in the first round the Packers selected a 6’4” 320-pound defensive tackle from the University of Tennessee – Justin Harrell. Defensive linemen are always a premium and Thompson seemed to like Harrell. The odd thing is the usually conservative Thompson drafted Harrell with a pre-existing injury.
Harrell arrived in Green Bay nursing a torn biceps tendon. Harrell then stoked the ire of Packers fans by showing up for organized team activities (OTA’s) and training camp overweight and out of shape. He didn’t play in his first game his rookie year until the fifth week of the season.
The rookie campaign for Harrell was not overly impressive. 2008 was even more underwhelming. In 2008, he began training camp and ultimately the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a back injury. Harrell was first activated on Nov. 1, 2008.
2009 was another disappointment. Harrell injured his back in training camp and missed the entire season. 2010 was thought to be his last chance with the Packers. In the season opener he suffered a significant knee injury in the season opener. This was the last time Harrell appeared in the NFL. The Packers released him in July 2011 and he has not played since. In four seasons with the Packers Harrell played in 14 games.
With all the disappointment aside, the 2007 draft was very much a success for the Packers. Of the 11 players selected, six of them were contributors to the 2010 Super Bowl XLV team. Three of these players look to have big roles for the 2013 Packers squad.
Brandon Jackson was the Packers third down back and occasional starter, but started a bulk of the 2010 season after Ryan Grant went down. James Jones was a key contributor during the 2010 season and now looks as if he might become the Packers number one receiver going into the 2013 season. After being drafted as an inside linebacker out of Boise State, Korey Hall transitioned to fullback and was a key player on special teams from 2007-10. A sixth round pick in 2007, Desmond Bishop has blossomed into an outstanding inside linebacker for the Packers and probably brings more mean to the Packers defense than anyone on the team. The Packers third sixth round pick in 2007 was Mason Crosby, a kicker out of the University of Colorado. With the exception of a poor 2012 season, Crosby has been a very consistent kicker for the Packers.
The genius of Ted Thompson isn’t so much finding that one guy that turns into an All-Pro caliber player, but collecting numerous players in the draft that materialize into key contributors. There are not a lot of general managers that cannot claim to collect six players out of a seven-round draft that develop into worthwhile NFL players. Thompson seems to do this nearly every season. He’s not flashy but he’s consistent and the 2007 Packers Draft class is a shining example of this.
|1||Justin Harrell||Defensive Tackle||Tennessee|
|2||Traded to the NY Jets along with pick #235 for pick numbers 63, 89, and 191|
|2 (From NY Jets)||Brandon Jackson||Running Back||Nebraska|
|3||James Jones||Wide Receiver||Fresno State|
|3||Aaron Rouse||Safety||Virginia Tech|
|4||Traded to Pittsburgh for pick numbers 119 & 192|
|4 ( From Pittsburgh)||Allen Barbre||Offensive lineman||Missouri Southern St|
|5||David Clomney||Wide Receiver||Virginia Tech|
|6||Korey Hall||Inside Linebacker||Boise State|
|6||Desmond Bishop||Inside Linebacker||California|
|7||Deshawn Wynn||Running Back||Florida|
|7||Traded to Jets along with pick number 47 for pick numbers 63,89 and 191|
|7||Clark Harris||Tight End||Rutgers|